Snowden was wrong and deserves to be punished.

           Edward Snowden revealed the Top Secret NSA Surveillance program. The NSA is collecting phone records and they are also collecting Internet records under the PRISM program. Republican Senators chastised President Obama and said they knew nothing of the program, a blatant lie. There are records showing Congress having briefings about the programs, maybe they went home instead of going to the briefings.

Snowden dropped out of high school. Got a job as a janitor at the CIA and somehow worked himself into a low-level intellegence position. He apparently is a whiz with computers. As budgets for the NSA, CIA and FBI were slashed they began outsourcing a lot of the intellegence work. Snowden left the CIA and began working in those fields. He stole information he was not even supposed to have and fled the country. He worked with the Guardian newspaper to get it out.

There is no dilema here, ge broke the law and the contract hth e signed to be privy to Top Secret information. Giving Top Secret information to anyone not cleared to look at it can be considered treason. If someone dies because of the information he made public will he still be considered a hero? Releasing classified information like this hurts our National Security. We are a free state, not a police state, but we do have to take measures to protect our country.

I am a Democrat and a Liberal but I realize that National Security is of the utmost importance. Do you think it was blind luck we were only hit with one terrorist attack since 9/11. There is a reason for that. How many people were prosecuted because of these programs? These programs had to get renewed court orders every 3 months for 7 years and Senators claim they didn’t know. Republican outrage over this is a sham, they supported George W. Bush and his illegal wiretapping.

What Snowden did was wrong? If he sold these secrets to Russia he would be labeled a traitor. Instead he gave it to a newspaper who gave it to our enemies. He is a traitor, plain and simple. The Government looking at your Internet activity is wrong, but corporations doing it is ok. Snowden deserves to be punished. There is no way around that and any country that shelters him obviously has a vested interest in him.

With a chance to interview heads of departments in charge of NSA surveillance, 53 Senators jump on planes to go home.

                    A briefing by Senior Intelligence Officials on surveillance programs failed to attract the attention of even half of the Senators. Senators, despite all their bluster, don’t seem to care that much about classified security programs. Many Senators, 53 to be exact, chose to leave early rather than attending the briefing.

The Senate held its last vote of the week around noon Thursday. They somehow could not find the time to attend the 2:30 meeting with James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence, Keith Alexander, the head of the NSA and other Senior officials. Clapper, Alexander and other Senior officials told the lawmakers that showed up about the classified programs to monitor millions of phone calls and broad swaths of internet activity. As of now the names of the attendees and non-attendees has not been released.

The exodus of colleagues exasperated Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-Ca), who spent all week answering a gauntlet of questions from colleagues and media about the programs. She said ” It’s hard to get this story out. Even now we have this big briefing- we’ve got Alexander, we’ve got the FBI, we’ve got the Justice Department, we have the FISA Court there, we have Clapper there and people are leaving.” I share her exasperation, these Senators attack President Obama and his staff, then don’t show up for the briefing. Maybe they ” don’t know about the programs” because they don’t show for briefings. This was important, yet these Senators couldn’t find time to do their job. Tsk, Tsk, shame on you Senators.

Lawmakers have been quick to call for Congressional oversight but are even quicker out the door. They cannot seem to make the scheduling sacrafices to learn more of the secret details of the programs. You would think that lawmakers would sttend briefings before making votes on the subject. Apparently this is not an uncommon occurrence in Congress. Lawmakers would be better equipped to scrutinize the claims of Senior Intellegence officials if they attended briefings more regularly. Please remember that being a Senator is not a vacation, it is an important job where you represent the people. It would make sense for you to remember that.

Lawmakers often vote to approve the Intelligence Programs with only a vague of what they are authorizing. Feinstein contends that her colleagues have known about the programs from previous debates and meetings. Many Lawmakers say they didn’t know about the programs, but the evidence suggests differently. There are records of hearings, briefings and the renewal process with the FISA Court every 3 months. Something doesn’t jive.

Republicans should hope they were not the ones leaving. If they were, this just proves they don’t care about the people or the country, only about smearing President Obama and stopping his agenda. They offer nothing but cuts to normal people, scream about the defecit, yet will not raise taxes on the wealthy. Not showing up illegitimizes the Republican party. Democrats not showing up is not quite as bad, because most support the President. Those who did not support the programs and didn’t show up deserve the same fate as Republicans. This is not a come and go as you please position, this is governing tye greatest country in the world. Maybe if these lousy politicians looked at it that way we wouldnt have any scandals.

Senators criticize President Obama’s transparency but leave town when a hearing about NSA is taking place.

                    All of these Senators that said they knew nothing of the NSA searching phone records now look really bad. Instead of attending scheduled hearing with the head of the NSA, FBI, the FISA Court and anyone else involved, 53 of those Senators went home. Do you think FOX News or Glenn Beck or Sean Hannity or even the conservative hero Rush Limbaugh are going to report that. No they will spin it as President Obama’s fault that he can’t control Congress.

They were all over the news claiming no one ever told them anything. They were never informed about the program. President Obama is expanding on George W. Bush’s survellience plan. That there is to much secrecy in the White House. Now they have that hearing and less than half show up. I was unable to find a list of names, but I am sure it will pop up soon. That list will be plastered everywhere, calling out these hypocrite lawmakers.

If these Senators are Republicans it removes all credibility from their impeachment hunt. Republicans have been trying to find a reason to impeach President Obama since 7 weeks into his first term. If instead of taking the opportunity to find out how this surveillance went on ” under their nose” they went home. How many times before this have out elected leaders missed a vote in order to get home early. If a normal person leaves early when they are scheduled they recieve some sort of punishment. But not our do nothing Congress.

This is a perfect example of what is wrong with our government. The complain and beat the drum like they really mean it. When it actuality it is a show to placate the people. It will not work if they blow this opportunity. This one is going to blow up in their face. When it does Democrats need to pounce and bury these horrible people. This is our chance to get out from under the Republican agenda that helps the rich and buries the poor. Our elected leaders let us down again.

Why doesnt anyone understand what Top Secret means?

           Edward Snowden, whether he did the right thing or not, is a criminal. In order to get a Top Secret clearance you have to sign an agreement, if you hreak the agreement you are technically guilty of treason. There are many things that the public should not know. Should we know the President’s exact schedule? Knowing where he is at any time. NO! Should we know where our nuclear weapons are or the codes to fire them? Of course not.

                   Anything and everything you do on the internet leaves a trail. Someone can always find out what you are doing. At least now it goes before a court, the FISA Court. When George W. Bush was in charge they tapped phones without court authority. The government does get a court order in order to get your phone and internet data. They go before the court every 3 months to renew the coury order. This is Top Secret, which means it affects our country in some important way.

                  Corporations have access to all of our data. They do this to learn how to market to us. Why is it ok for a corporation to do it, but not the government. The 4th Amendment is not being torn apart. As far as I can tell it is within the Amendment. They are getting a court order to get the data. It is not breaking any laws. But Republicans and their cohorts are trying to paint President Obama as an evil man and Democrats as do nothings.

The simple fact is that no law is being broken. As much as Republicans, who constantly violating civil liberties, cry about it, it is not illegal. But there is a portion of this country that hates him because of his skin color and will go against him regardless of what he does. This is the America we live in.

Lets get real about the NSA collecting phone records.

              The Fourth Amendment;
        The right of the people to be secure ine their persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the person or things to be seized.

             After 9/11 fear permeated American life. We were an unsure people who were perplexed by an unwarranted attack on innocent people. The rest of the world had been dealing with this for quite some time, as have we at out foreign interests. After 9/11 many were willing to sacrifice civil liberties to help ensure our safety. The Bush/Cheney regime skirted moral authority and we became a preemptive strike country. Attack and ask questions later. The Patriot Act was pushed through with tremendous support from both sides if the aisle.

In doing so we were opened to a moral dilemma. How far is to far? The FISA Court, which was created in 1978, was given a kind of moral authority. It was up to this court to determine when our government was overstepping its authority. They determined that the so called data mining was legal. By determining that they also established how far these “spying” operations could go.

If the government determined something was wrong and needed to go through the data, they would have to go to court to get clearance. It is not as if they can go right in there and take what they want. Of course people will jump to conclusions to establish President Obama as a bad guy. The truth of the matter is that none of this can happen without the approval of the FISA Court. Which covers the executive and judicial branches.

Now for the legislative branch. The Senators, Republican and Democrat alike were informed. Every 3 months they had to go before the FISA Court to get the order aporoved. They had hearings for all Republicans and Democrats to come in and ask questions. The Senators complain that they were not allowed to talk to anyone who did not have clearance. That is how s TOP SECRET clearance works. You are told TOP SECRET information and you are not allowed to tell anyone else. If it concerned them so much why didn’t they try to learn more about the subject or ask more questions. This is about Senators who knes about something and did nothing to stop it, although then knew the American people wouldn’t like it. Now they are covering their tails.

The fact of the matter is this. It is Constitutionally legal. All branches of government knew about it. Why are American people upset? If you are not doing anything criminal you have nothing to worry about. This is the tradeoff our government chose to make and we chose to live with. It has gone on for 7 years and now it gets leaked. It seems as if the Republican scandal machine is in hyperdrive trying to find anything that sticks.